Believing is not seeing

Final round, August Swiss

My opponent was an unrated young man, for who this was his first tournament.  He had beaten Sam B. (1830 rated) convincingly in the previous round, and had solved a tactics puzzle on the wall from last week that I was not able to solve, so I knew I had my work cut out for me.

In the opening, my inexperienced opponent didn’t have a line for the C3 Sicilian, he said after the game, so that he stumbled into an Advanced French variation.

19.Bf5!  I had forgotten that I could play 12.Rxe6 here.  In fact, I had calculated that this move was winning, but when I got back from the restroom, suddenly the look of the future reply 19…Ne5 set me aback for a minute.  Of course, I had seen this line blindfold-style 19.Bf5 Ne5, 20.Bxe6+ Rd7, 21.Qxb7 mate!  But for instance, when you let go your train of thought and come back to the board, suddenly 19….Ne5 just _looks_ like a scary reply.  Luckily, I stayed the course and played the line that would happen in the future rather than the look of the move in the present.  It’s easy to get a little nervous when you feel like you’ve seen the win.

21.Qb3, just after I moved, I saw that the queen trade with 21.Qb4 was stronger, but in this case the game ended faster with queens still on the board.

[Event “August Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.08.28”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Justin Parker”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1600”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1869”]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. e5 cxd4 6. cxd4 Bd7 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Bd3
f5 9. exf6 gxf6 10. O-O Qe7 11. Re1 Bxc3 12. bxc3 O-O-O 13. Bf4 h5 14. a4 Nh6
15. Qb3 Nf7 16. Rab1 Na5 17. Qxd5 Nc6 18. Qb5 Be8 19. Bf5 Nce5 20. Bxe6+ Kb8
21. Qb3 Ka8 22. dxe5 Rg8 23. exf6 Bxa4 24. fxe7 1-0

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2 thoughts on “Believing is not seeing

  1. I didn’t like his 9… gxf6 and 11. Bxc3, he basically had nowhere to castle after that.
    I think 19. Rxe6 Ne5 was still OK after 20. Rxe7 Nxf3+ 21. gxf3 Bxb5 22. Rxb5 being a piece up.
    Your line was good too. Good game!

  2. Thank you!

    Yes, opposite side castling often turns into a race, so Black should never do it lightly, IMO (castling queenside). When he played 15…Nf7 instead of 15…Ng4, I figured that this wouldn’t turn out well for him.

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